Skip to content

Human cost of workplace deaths shows the need for corporate manslaughter laws

The number of voices echoing our call for the introduction of corporate manslaughter laws continues to grow.

Today we added our names to the open letter of Anna Osborne and Sonya Rockhouse calling on political leaders to support the Not One More campaign and introduce corporate manslaughter into law.

Families have been impacted by the Pike River Mine disaster gather to remember the 29 men who never returned from work. Image: #StandwithPike

Anna and Sonya’s story, and many others like it show us why corporate manslaughter laws are needed. Anna’s husband Milt, and Sonya’s son Ben were two of the 29 men killed at Pike River mine on November 19, 2010. Since that day, Anna and Sonya have fought for justice for the families of the men who were killed, and for wider health and safety improvements in New Zealand.

Sonya Rockhouse MNZM (left) and Anna Osborne MNZM (right).

The Pike River catastrophe was a watershed moment for the profile of health and safety in New Zealand. It serves as a reminder of the real impact that poor health and safety practices have on working people. 29 sons, husbands, and fathers did not return home from work that day.

But 13 years on from Pike, the fight for improving safety at work continues. Fatalities, and injuries at work remain high, with on average 1-2 workers killed at work each week. Another 15-18 die every week from illnesses caused by their work.

Last week, the Government announced a proposal to substantially restructure WorkSafe, our health and safety regulator.

We are deeply concerned that our system doesn’t have capacity hold businesses accountable when their workers are killed on the job. Cuts to WorkSafe will only make this problem worse.

We believe every worker deserves to come home safely at the end of the day. Workers also deserve to know that their safety and wellbeing is a top priority for the Government.

We can ensure this by holding negligent companies accountable for workplace deaths.

Add your voice to the growing number saying Not One More.

Related Media